After four games of stifling defense, and four successive wins to open the season, the Celtics expected to be tested by Philadelphia when they visited the Sixers Tuesday night.
The Celtics' .391 opponent field goal percentage was second to Miami (.386), only New Orleans surpassing 40 percent shooting among Celtics foes, and a league-leading points-against average of 81.3 per game. Philadelphia had a league-leading .526 shooting percentage, boosted by a 141-127 overtime win at New York Saturday.
"The first three games it was spectacular," coach Doc Rivers said of the Celtics' defending. "The last game (a 97-87 win over the Hornets Sunday) we actually didn't play good defense but, in our opinion, we got away with it. We broke a lot of our rules. That's something we haven't done. It was one of those games where we did it on both ends -- we broke a lot of offensive rules and defensive rules. We shot 54 percent and noone was very happy about our execution and I guess that's a good thing."